Africa: African Culture (African food news culture) Folktales

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If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Walking Dead | Learn All About Voodoo

What do you know about African Voodoo

Voodoo Zombies, The Walking Dead
Better known as Vodun, Voodoo probably is not what you think it is since African Voodoo is not accurately portrayed in movies, on TV or in books with the walking dead or zombies raining down destruction. African Voodoo is a nature based community centered religion.

Annual voodoo festival in Benin

Benin, is the center of voodoo worship in West Africa.

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

The walking dead? Zombies?  Animal sacrifice? What do you really know about Voodoo? 

What are Zombies or the Walking Dead?

A Voodoo worshipper dances at the Temple of Pythons during the annual Voodoo Festival in Ouidah
Zombies do not have to be dead. In African and Caribbean Voodoo cultures, zombies are more mindless servants than the walking dead. Zombies are people who do the mindless bidding of a person and are seemingly possessed by them.

Zombies represent a slave to master relationship. However, the concept of the undead zombie has existed through time and across cultures, they reveal who fundamentally we fear we are, and they warn us about the collective choices we are making.

Humans have historically expressed their social anxieties through references to the dead. Humans focus on zombies because they represent the metaphysical struggle many humans have with the meaning of their own existence and the fear of death. Soulless stares and staggering walks are the typical zombie characteristics but can also explain the condition of the living. Zombies do not have to be dead.

What is Voodoo?

Voodoo religion is often practiced alongside Christianity and Islam in West Africa. Voodoo better known as vodun probably is not what you think it is Voodoo is not accurately portrayed in movies, on TV or in books. Voodoo is not devil worship; people who practice Voodoo are not evil spell casting witch doctors.

Voodoo is not a practice intended to hurt or control others and makes them into zombies; Voodoo is not dark or brutal. Not everyone who practices Voodoo does it in exactly the same way or agrees on exactly the same things.

Voodoo has no written word; it is a nature based community centered religion that supports and empowers. Voodoo is a religion originating in Africa and is practiced around the world by millions of voodoo practitioners or Voodooists.

Dah Dangbénon's python voodoo templeVoodoo is practiced differently in different parts of the world, and differs from village to village. Almost all Voodooists believe that there is a visible and an invisible world, and that these worlds are intertwined.

Death is a transition to the invisible world, so our predecessors are still with us in spirit. Just as there are differences within other faiths, there is great variation within Voodoo beliefs and practices.

Dangbénon's python voodoo temple an African voodoo priest states "Voodoo is not about using magic spells to curse your enemies," said Dangbénon, whose clan for generations oversee this temple dedicated to pythons. "If you choose to manipulate nature to harm your neighbor, it's not voodoo that harms your neighbor, it is you."

Benin Voodoo festival, about half the African country of Benin are followers of voodoo. Voodoo religion has tainted voodoo to the point where even the word makes you think of wickedness. Voodoo is as much a part of African heritage as Buddhism is to Asia.

Did you know?
Benin Voodoo festIn the 1990's, Benin's government overturned a decades long ban and recognized voodoo as a celebrated African cultural tradition promoting a national voodoo day, which is celebrated on January 10.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Our Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe is Addictive

Warning: Our Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe is Addictive

Baharat spicy baked chickpea
Recipe from Ethiopia is delicious, high fiber, crispy, crunchy addictive snack food.

Baharat spicy baked chickpeas

Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe is an Addictive Snack Food

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

How To Make Crispy Baked Chickpeas in the Oven.

African food recipe
Chickpea seller in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A well-known part of the Ethiopian diet is chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans. Our Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe is seasoned with 9 spices and perfectly baked every time.

Addictive Baharat Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe Snack Food

Serves 4
Addictive African snack food

2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon dried mint
2 dried hot red chilies
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried coriander
¼ cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
2 whole cloves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients except chickpeas to a coffee grinder and pulse until mixed well. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the drained chickpeas spice powder. Spread chickpeas on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour until the beans are browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool. 

Roasted chickpeas photo by jules stonesoupDid you know?
The Chickpea crop has been cultivated in Ethiopia since antiquity, dating back to 7,500 BC.

There are two types of chickpeas:
Desi – is a small dark seeded with rough coat, drought tolerant well adapted to low rainfall areas. Desi chickpeas have a yellow colored center. commercial production.

Kabuli – is a lighter colored large late-maturity plant, beige-colored throughout the seed with thin skin and is found mainly in areas of steady rainfall. The kabuli chickpeas are the type most commonly found in American supermarkets.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Spice Cumin

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Cumin

Cumin Spice, Cumin Indigenous Medicine
Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and used since antiquity in traditional healing systems.

Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and used since antiquity in traditional healing systems.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Spice Cumin

Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Cumin seeds are sometimes used whole, but more commonly they are ground into powder.

What does cumin taste like? 

Cumin has an unmistakable flavor, when a dish is flavored with cumin; it has a nutty peppery slightly smoky flavor.

Where does cumin come from?

Cumin is one of the earliest cultivated herbs in Africa. Cumin is a low-growing annual herb of the Nile valley, but cultivated in the Mediterranean region, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, India, China, and Palestine from very early times and is a strong tasting herb.

How does cumin grow?

Cumin can grow outdoors, in containers, and hydroponics. Cumin plants are known to attract beneficial insects. The plants mature in about 2 - 3 months, when the stems are cut and dried in the shade. Cumin is grown for its seeds that are used whole or ground. To harvest seeds, allow pod to ripen and turn brown. Remove from the plant and dry. Rub pods to remove the seeds. The whole stem can be cut and hung upside down in a bag to collect the seeds. Use fresh or store in an airtight container.

What is cumin used for?

Cumin is a common spice in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mexican cuisines as curry powder and in pickles, pastry and soups. The seeds should be roasted before being used to bring out the aroma.

What are other uses for cumin?

Those who take cumin as a medicine do so for digestion problems including diarrhea, gas and as a diuretic. Cumin may also lower blood sugar levels. Cumin seeds are rich sources of essential oils and have been actively researched for their chemical composition and biological activities. In the Moroccan traditional medicine, cumin seeds are used as diuretics and given to treat diabetes and hypertension. In traditional medicine of Tunisia, cumin is given to new mothers to increases milk supply and as an antiseptic.

When using whole cumin seed, toast the seeds in advance to get the best flavor possible.
Did you know?
When using whole cumin seed, toast the seeds in advance to get the best flavor possible.

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